• Kibuine Karei Mary
  • Wainaina Gituro
  • Muranga Njihia James


Increased demand for tertiary education and subsequent challenges, led to strategic initiatives
by Kenyan universities to raise their income. Some of the distinguishing features of the chartered
universities are the programmes that they offer. For a university to keep up with change and
demand, there is a need to develop products fast enough to meet market needs. A product can be
developed through stage-gate or scrum method which are characterised by the period it takes to
initiate, develop and launch into the market. A hybrid of the methods can also be used to
incorporate the features of the two. The need to attract more students by a university through
introduction of programmes that meet their needs motivated the study which sought to find out
whether product development processes had a relationship with performance of private
chartered universities and a subsequent null hypothesis was formulated:- Product development
processes has no significant relationship with performance of chartered private universities in
Kenya. The study adopted positivism research paradigm and used a combination of research
designs namely, descriptive, cross sectional and survey. The population constituted all the 18
chartered private universities as at 2016, with Deans of Faculties/School forming the unit of
observation. Identification of indicators of the method preferred in product development
processes and the relationship between product development processes and performance were
done by use of factor analysis and linear regression. The findings were that private universities
used a hybrid of stage-gate and scrum processes. For every unit of product development
processes there was a variance in performance of 1.325 units and therefore, the null hypothesis
that stated that there was no significant relationship between product development processes and
performance of chartered private universities in Kenya was rejected. Product development
processes affected performance of private universities in Kenya. The findings can be used by
policy makers to formulate policies that foster collaboration between the regulator and
universities in order to ensure that relevant and quality programmes are introduced while opportunities last. Managers of the universities can use the findings to facilitate faster
introduction of degree programmes relevant to the market instead of being guided by traditions
of their universities.
Key Words: Product Development Processes, Stage-gate, Scrum, stage –gate/scrum hybrid